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Items by Kitty Babcock

Results: 48
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Pacing and variety for beginning choir
Firstly, may I ask that you eliminate the word "bore".  To be bored is owned by the person in question.  YOU can't fix their boredom.  You want to keep the pace up for sure but allow them to create and own their interest and input. They will support that which they help to create.  Good words ...
Comment: Re: Christmas Around the World
What are your singers suggesting?  Do they have some favourites?  Do they want more popular music or more of a classical style or a mix?  I would choose music based on the choir's abilities, likes and ofcourse your potential audience.  There are many suggestions from others here but I would chec...
Comment: Re: Who's in YOUR Choir . . . the First 20 Faces
Great article.  I really makes you think about the value of choir for sure.  Small point.  Our wonderful Canadian astronaut is Chris HADFIELD.  His music reached the universe, didn't it? Kitty Babcock Embro Thistle Singers
Comment: Re: the tablet dilemma
I was at a business show recently and saw monitor type screens that are made to correct the back lighting to suit the surrounding light.  They are make primarily for advertising.  Thus you could program what would be on the screen when.  The cost no more than any other monitor and you could hook ...
Comment: Re: Addressing Older Choir Members Overall Sound/Vibrato
I have to comment on Marilyn's great suggestion that we FORGET how to breathe when upright.  When I was about 10 years old, I went to my first "singing lesson".  The Sisters wore the now old habits and so looked rather severe to this Anglican girl unused to the Roman Catholic traditions.  The fir...
Community Forum Post: Choosing Music
How do YOU choose music for your choir?  Do you have a music committee that searches and brings ideas to you or the board of directors?  Do you have set types of music that you learn and perform? How many new pieces do you add each quarter or year? How many practices do you feel you need to adequ...
Comment: Re: Choral Caffeine: More Pitches
This discussion reminds me of the notation I habitually put in autograph books at school.  If you are not old enough to remember autograph books, think Year Books.  I would write: Never B-sharp Never B-flat Always B-Natural   Wno knows which your hum seems to be. (pun intended)  I love the ...
Comment: Re: Leading Rehearsal With Non-Traditional Accompaniment
I know exactly what you are saying, Tony.  I am not proficient at the piano and I had to learn chording just to help with those times when I was on my own.  I did teach myself guitar and it really helped in many areas.  It did help the changing voices feel more confident about singing and learni...
Comment: Re: IPA - Why do we recreate the wheel every time?
Thank you Freeman for the comment about the acronyms.  I have been in meetings where acronyms are bandied about willy nilly until I have to stop them and ask that they use the full name of the group or idea under discussion.  There is far too much misunderstanding otherwise.  Also, using acronyms...
Comment: Re: Music for 3:1 ratio of women to men Mixed Choir
Hi Brittany, You have received some good advice above.  There are many ways to balance a choir and one of the great ways to do that is to make the parts aware of how they sound together.  Mixing your parts in practice and performance is a great way to get that.  Circle practices, or standing so ...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: “Why Barbershop Along with High School Chorus?” by Carl Taylor
Brilliant.  I couldn't agree more with both Carl and Ron.  Barbershop sound is unique and fun.  It is a different learning style and the fun part is tremendous.  Keep up the great work.  Kitty
Comment: Re: Rehearsing well -- Start with Musicality
You are so very right Richard.  We must start out as we mean to go on.  I compare singing the music minus the details such as phrasing, dynamics and accent to letting a child be "cute" and behave without rules until the child is out in public, and all of a sudden correct behaviour is paramount a...
Comment: Re: It's About the Phrase: Subito
Those were very good examples to make "subito" very real.  The sudden change to 'piano' really makes you notice and pay attention to Choir B.    The term SUBITO is one of my favourites because somewhere along the line a teacher told me to remember that it means 'sudden' by thinking of 'subi...
Comment: Re: Stick Time: Listening for Influences
Oh my gosh.  That post takes me back.  Norton Scores and Recordings were our professors' main "go to" resource.   This piece is definitely influenced by a number of styles and periods.  I will leave it to my more learned colleagues to find those specifics.  The comments will be most interes...
Comment: Re: Organizing Concert To-Dos from A to Zed
Getting it all done can be a interesting.  With computers, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and a plethora of information to be read, digested and disgarded or used, our day can be full of distractions.  I still use the good old calendar in my computer and Blackberry.     The reminder is set to gi...
Comment: Re: Auld Lang Syne
Thanks Scott.  The Beach Boys harmony is so unique.     This song reminded me of my Scottish Grandma who at the stoke of midnight had us cross our arms and join hands in a circle as we sang Auld Lang Syne.  She of course knew all the words to the second verse as well which she happily sang...
Comment: Re: Satb anthem about the earth
Britt, what a lovely theme.  Great idea. My choir absolutely loves singing John Rutter's, For the Beauty of the Earth.  Traditional words and a beautiful SATB arrangement.  Rutter makes the choir work but really understands voice and it is ultimately that which the choir enjoys.    You ...
Comment: Re: No. 1 tip Church or School
You are all so very correct.  When I taught, there was just the beginnings of e-mail.  No matter where you are, be professional.  Do not talk or write about any student with other students or parents or even some of the other teachers.  Whatever discussions you may have must be non-personal in...
Comment: Re: Monday Motivation: What Do YOU Work For?
I do agree with Ron.  Our Embro Thistle Singers do perform for community events as our mission is Song, Service, Fun.  We sing for causes all the time as we did for area young people recently. However, when that applause comes through in the end, it really makes a difference.  It is wonderful...
Comment: Re: Thank the Choir
Thank YOU Scott for this and the many thoughtful and insightful pieces we get to share on Choral Net.  It is a wonderful resource.  I often wonder how we ever got along pre-internet.  We often existed in a vacuum working away to create music and never knowing that others were experiencing simil...
Comment: Re: What is the most perfect piece of choral music ever composed? Opinions, please.
Music is amazing and it moves us all differently.  It has been a delight reading these comments and remember so many of these pieces sung with wonderful choirs and with delicious memories.  I think we do bring our past experiences to the music and it is difficult to divorce our feelings from the...
Comment: Re: CJ Replay: Beethoven Mass in C
This story of Beethoven having to stand in Haydn's shadow is a testament to the time and indeed to all composers who dare to change the status quo.  We now listen to Haydn and Beethoven and because of our ability to hear so much music can enjoy each piece independently.   In 1807, the piece wa...
Comment: Re: Pronunciation of the words "Christmas" and "heaven"
I would agree with Raymond's and John's explanations.   The schwa in the English language, as an indefinite vowel sound.  I usually tell my singers if they can't remember a word, they should "schwa" the vowels and keep the consonants soft.  As long as the people around you are singing clear s...
Choir: Embro Thistle Singers (Embro, Ontario, Canada)
We are a fully volunteer choir which practises every other week.  We work to make great music, to serve our communities and above all to have and give fun!  We do not charge any dues nor do we do concerts for which we sell tickets.  We perform when invited often with other groups.  We sing for...
Comment: Re: Carol of the Bells Lyrics
Okay so the "original" was Ukranian.  Thankfull the ensuing English words work well.  Sheesh.
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "Effect or Meaning" by Edward Palmer
Maybe I am just not knowledgable enough or have missed something over the years but I am not sure what the point of this "argument" is.  Perhaps, you just wanted to stimualte discussion.  Good one.   Throat singing of many cultures and certainly our Canadian northern people is amazing indeed ...
Comment: Re: Carol of the Bells Lyrics
Why look for other words?  What is wrong with the original ones?  I believe that the originals are onomatyopoeic and to alter the words changes the intent of the music.  The music flows so swiftly and the parts so intertwined that singing alternative words doesn't enhance the song in my opinion...
Comment: Re: Recording and immediate playback in choral rehearsal
We too use the Zoom recorder and it is small, fits on a tripod and can be set to accomodate large or smaller spaces.  It really has been a great tool for us in rehearsals.
Comment: Re: Your thoughts on Middle School Boys?
What you are saying is very true indeed.  What I did with my young men was to create a segregated choir but also an SATB choir.  The boys sang carefully chosen TTBB pieces and were singing at an alto and soprano range for the unchanged and a higher and lower baritone for the changing voices.   ...
Comment: Re: Sending PDF sample copies
I just checked your web site Julia and you have made it very clear that you are most happy to have a piece "test driven".  You were very clear and inviting.  If more people followed that outline, there would be less misunderstanding.  We do have to be completely aware that not everyone understa...
Comment: Re: Atlanta Symphony Discriminates Against the Wrong Skin Color
There are many thoughtful answers here to be sure. I had a situation at a school where I was the new vocal music teacher.  Desiree talks about the opportunity to study music being allocated to the people who can afford it.  I faced a similar situation that did not contain racial boundaries.  ...
Comment: Re: The Chick-fil-A Choir Concert
What great answers and ideas.  Living in democratic countries means we have the right to express our opinions and to oppose or agree with others.  Yes I would attend.  Your politics are just that, YOURS and should not interfere with the music presented.  I would bring my own with me.  We sa...
Comment: Re: Is it feasible to teach middle school choir without any piano skills?
Amen to all that has been suggested.  I have limited piano skills and so had choirs for years that didn't get the full accompaniment until closer to a concert or performance.  I would sing the accompaniment if it was necessary.  I also taught myself to play the guitar and my grades 7 and 8 part...
Comment: Re: Make a Joyful Noise
On your recommendation I bought the Kindle edition and have just started to read.  So far so good.  Tristan is a prima donna so far and I am glad he isn't in my choir never mind its director.  Maybe he will change.  More as I read. Kitty
Comment: Re: Kodaly vs. Choral Conducting Master's
Jolyne seems to intimate that you must limit your scope and then train only on what will give you that end.  I respectfully submit that you can never learn enough in all areas.  What I learned as an elementary school music teacher has served me well with college and university students, private ...
Comment: Re: Monday Motivation: Will YOU?
The "can" is taught and learned.  The "will" is that, je ne sais quois, that makes all the difference.  Excuses build the wall that holds the "will" at bay.  Don't let them get started.   Kitty
Comment: Re: Kodaly vs. Choral Conducting Master's
Hi Rebecca, Early in my teaching career I took the Kodaly based Education Through Music with Mary Helen Richards.  Mary Helen studied with Kodaly and with his blessing, created a teaching format that takes into account our North American folk music and more triplet based language as opposed to ...
Comment: Re: Stick Time: Memorize the Score
Yes, yes, yes and YES!!  Thank you for saying it so very well.  Kitty
Comment: Re: Saturday Respite: Go for a Little Cruise
Great memories and mellow sound.  What a treat.  Many thanks. Kitty
Comment: Re: Mark Twain on Creativity
What a great reminder.  I am the muscian I am due to the many teachers, directors and composers I have had the privilege to work with.  Thanks for that quotation and helping all of us put into perspective how we are where we are.  
Comment: Re: Musicians vs everyone else
Having been a church muscian, I truly think that the chasm has to be breeched by the muscians themselves.  You must communicate through more than just the music.  The pastor or priest needs to be a part of the planning whether or not he/she is a musician.   When we introduced a new hymn tune ...
Comment: Re: Transforming one man
This is a marvellous testament to the power we know is there.  How wonderful.  Thanks for sharing.   Kitty Babcock Embro Thistle Singers
Comment: Re: Coming Soon: SKYPE Choir?
It would be very good for people in the far places that can't get to regular lessons or practices for sure.  However, being only on Skype would not allow them that community feeling to the same degree.  It would open up the possibilities of being at a practice in France and then hopping over to ...
Comment: Re: Gamechanger: CadenzaOne
As in the comments below, this could be a problem.  The best part is that the composer gets more of the pie but I am not sure about the choir.  Hmmm.  
Comment: Re: Stick Time: Why Guys Don't Sing
When I was teaching 12 to 15 year old males, we had a TTBB chorus.  I had a friend who was and is a great musician and basketball afficianado.  My guys came out Saturday mornings and we had a great hour and a half practice with Ron singing with them.  Tone matching was really helpful for them e...
Comment: Re: Show Choir Dresses
Check out YouTube choirs.  There are some very simple looks that involve black skirts and shirts but add vests or scarves that match.  Why make a dress they only wear for performances when you can use a basic black outfit and add a seasonal or choir specific addition.  See what the girls or mum...
Comment: Re: Saturday Respite: Cat Concerto
A wonderful blast from the past.  Perhaps, our dog interrupted conductor could take a lesson from Tom who just keeps on going.  What fun!!  Thanks.
Comment: Re: What would you have said?
That is too funny.  The dog is just doing what dogs do best.  People whisper and open krinkly wrappers and dogs bark.  You just keep singing. 4.  Sing on through the bark, sing on through the talk, though your plans be tossed and blown.  Sing on, sing on with hope in your heart, & be su...